D&D 5E Group Iniative Order

MarkB

Legend
So all your monsters have a separate init? I think you over stating the case. The is a boss fight with waves. First wave is 4 or 5 guards. Depending on how you did earlier. The boss is protected by box text. Once the first wave is killed, the second wave comes.
Second wave is 8 blood hawks which will operate in teams of two using pack tactics. So in this case one pc is not a target. The villain is escaping but can be engaged by missile weapons. If both blood hawks hit, the avg damage will zero a wizard. The hippogriff is also present. But the group can grab the prisoner and retreat.
I can see this being a tpk if the dm is not careful. Especially if everyone is first level. While I don't train my monsters to SAS team tactics, I will use their abilities. I have dm this mission at least six times. How I run depends on the players and levels of pcs.

The only issue I'd have with this scenario is that it effectively requires the monsters to "know" that they're acting on a group initiative, and that if they move and ready their actions they'll still all get to go before any of the PCs get to act. If the situation were reversed, this would be an extremely risky move - if the first PC to act ran off ahead of the rest, he'd have no way of knowing whether his allies would have the opportunity to immediately charge in after him, or if he'd suddenly find himself alone and outnumbered as multiple opponents took their turns, holding a readied action that he might not survive long enough to trigger.
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
The only issue I'd have with this scenario is that it effectively requires the monsters to "know" that they're acting on a group initiative

What is the issue though? The DM establishes what the monsters know and in any case doesn't need to establish any particular knowledge on the part of the blood hawks for them to act in the fashion they did.
 

Oofta

Legend
- If they had multiple attacks, they'd lose their extra attacks because readying takes your action and then it takes your 'reaction' to make the attack. You can't ready multiple attacks.


Not to derail this, but I went to double check this because I didn't remember details of how they stated this. I see nothing that says a readied action is limited to one attack. So I'm not sure a monster with multi-attack would not get all their attacks. Or a fighter readying a multi-attack for that matter, although bonus actions are limited to your turn.

I can't find anything that says a readied action is limited. Under Ready it just says "you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger". Opportunity attacks are limited to one melee attack because it says "you use your reaction to make one melee attack against the provoking creature".

Am I just missing something?
 

MarkB

Legend
Not to derail this, but I went to double check this because I didn't remember details of how they stated this. I see nothing that says a readied action is limited to one attack. So I'm not sure a monster with multi-attack would not get all their attacks. Or a fighter readying a multi-attack for that matter, although bonus actions are limited to your turn.

I can't find anything that says a readied action is limited. Under Ready it just says "you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger". Opportunity attacks are limited to one melee attack because it says "you use your reaction to make one melee attack against the provoking creature".

Am I just missing something?

The Extra Attack feature specifically grants additional attacks when you use the Attack action on your turn . The multiattack feature has no such restriction, and can be used with a readied Attack action.
 

Oofta

Legend
The Extra Attack feature specifically grants additional attacks when you use the Attack action on your turn . The multiattack feature has no such restriction, and can be used with a readied Attack action.

Good point, I should have included that.
 

The Extra Attack feature specifically grants additional attacks when you use the Attack action on your turn . The multiattack feature has no such restriction, and can be used with a readied Attack action.


I didn't realize multi-attacks could be readied....interesting. The thing is, lots of NPCs in modules have multi-attack...but, it seems to me they really just have 2 attacks.

Frulam Mondath in Horde of the Dragon Queen has 'multi-attack' and can attack twice with her halberd. I'm not sure I'd let her ready 2 attacks...A creature with multiple appendages, I might allow if that's RAW.
 

S'mon

Legend
T If the situation were reversed, this would be an extremely risky move - if the first PC to act ran off ahead of the rest, he'd have no way of knowing whether his allies would have the opportunity to immediately charge in after him, or if he'd suddenly find himself alone and outnumbered as multiple opponents took their turns, holding a readied action that he might not survive long enough to trigger.

You hide initiative numbers from the players? :uhoh:
 

S'mon

Legend
I too had a session where we couldn't work out why the PCs could only attack once with a Readied action, since it's not a restriction in Readied Action (unlike opportunity attack). Eventually we realised the restriction was in Extra Attack.

I didn't realize multi-attacks could be readied....interesting. The thing is, lots of NPCs in modules have multi-attack...but, it seems to me they really just have 2 attacks.

Frulam Mondath in Horde of the Dragon Queen has 'multi-attack' and can attack twice with her halberd. I'm not sure I'd let her ready 2 attacks...A creature with multiple appendages, I might allow if that's RAW.

Yes, the NPCs should have Extra Attack not multi-attack* and should be subject to those restrictions IMO. Other critters like bears don't need to be though - so you can have a horde of trolls all move then all multi-attack, and keep it legal.

Mind you this is often actually NOT optimal - optimal is often move-attack-move to let more of your allies get attacks in too.

*There's actually a minor artifact IMC, the Dragon Gauntlets, that allow a claw-claw-rend routine
as a single Attack - so with Extra Attack the barbarian-20 dragonborn PC wearing them can attack twice for potentially four attacks & 2 rends (if all 4 attacks hit). Potential damage is enormous, but he almost always sticks to sword & shield for the better AC.
 
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MarkB

Legend
You hide initiative numbers from the players? :uhoh:

I've always tracked initiative myself, and don't announce opponents' initiative, so during the first round of combat they typically won't know when an enemy will act. I've seen some DMs do it that way, and others track it in the open. I'm not sure there's a hard-and-fast rule for it.
 

S'mon

Legend
I've always tracked initiative myself, and don't announce opponents' initiative, so during the first round of combat they typically won't know when an enemy will act. I've seen some DMs do it that way, and others track it in the open. I'm not sure there's a hard-and-fast rule for it.

Pretty sure there's no rule. I've just never heard of this before.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Hmmmm. What *is* the rule for simultaneous initiative? Having them all move then all attack creates a massive tactical advantage over having them each move then attack.
I can not find one. I also see nothing on not have the same type of monsters going on same initiative count.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
People this what we know. And beep the ready action. It does not come into play. DDEX02-01 page 7-10. If the dm ran as written. Page 8 Poor success with the seamstress gives 5 guards on page 10. Once guards are defeated, the second wave comes. Second wave 8 blood hawks which have pack tactics, and a hippogriff. The blood hawks will do 2 on 1 by script. Initiative order PC, PC, PC, Hippogriff, PC, Blood Hawks, and OP.
Wait a freaky minute. THE BEEPING MAY HAVE DM SCREWED UP BADLY. From Telvin first post, “……TPK when the two conjured hippogriffs were added into the mix.” BUZZ. The second hippogriff would only come into play on a strong or very strong group (page 10 adjust the encounter box). At five players you cannot ever have a very strong group. See Party Composition below. Four first level since 4 are new to the game. To get a strong group the fifth player had to be running a fourth level. 4 +4 = 8. 8/5 = 1.6 round up gets you 2.
Party Composition Party Strength 3-4 characters, APL less than Very weak
3-4 characters, APL equivalent Weak, 3-4 characters, APL greater than Average
5 characters, APL less than Weak, 5 characters, APL equivalent Average
5 characters, APL greater than Strong, 6-7 characters, APL less than Average
6-7 characters, APL equivalent Strong, 6-7 characters, APL greater than Very strong

Both monster fly at 60 so no need of the ready action. Damage per round is 4 for each hawk, and 18 for the hippogriff if both attacks hits. Tower with is not giving but height is 20 feet. I think I have used 20 feet as the width.

You can run this nice. 2 dive bombers attack one pc and fly away provoking attack of opportunity. Telling new people they can swing on the retreating bird. Or mean. 2 dive bombers, move, attack, move and make the players decide if they going to split their AOOs or not. But the script reads like the hawks and griff are there to cover Proskler’s retreat. So I would only do two rounds of combat by then the villain is out most thrown weapons. Also Telvin did not mention death saves. If I would had zeroed any one out, I would have shift targets. If I zeroed out all the pcs, the guards down below escape and stabilize the group. And laugh at the pcs.

Telvin chalk this up to a new dm learning.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
Seems it would require a group of monsters with incredible tactical discipline acting as optimally as an SAS team.

The D&D IGOUGO combat system creates many such oddities. While I still play D&D, this is one of the things I really like about systems like the Apocalypse Engine and Forged in the Dark, and even Two Hour Wargames. The chunkiness of D&D-style initiative bugs me increasingly over time.
 

Telvin

Explorer
People this what we know. And beep the ready action. It does not come into play. DDEX02-01 page 7-10. If the dm ran as written. Page 8 Poor success with the seamstress gives 5 guards on page 10. Once guards are defeated, the second wave comes. Second wave 8 blood hawks which have pack tactics, and a hippogriff. The blood hawks will do 2 on 1 by script. Initiative order PC, PC, PC, Hippogriff, PC, Blood Hawks, and OP.
Wait a freaky minute. THE BEEPING MAY HAVE DM SCREWED UP BADLY. From Telvin first post, “……TPK when the two conjured hippogriffs were added into the mix.” BUZZ. The second hippogriff would only come into play on a strong or very strong group (page 10 adjust the encounter box). At five players you cannot ever have a very strong group. See Party Composition below. Four first level since 4 are new to the game. To get a strong group the fifth player had to be running a fourth level. 4 +4 = 8. 8/5 = 1.6 round up gets you 2.
Party Composition Party Strength 3-4 characters, APL less than Very weak
3-4 characters, APL equivalent Weak, 3-4 characters, APL greater than Average
5 characters, APL less than Weak, 5 characters, APL equivalent Average
5 characters, APL greater than Strong, 6-7 characters, APL less than Average
6-7 characters, APL equivalent Strong, 6-7 characters, APL greater than Very strong

Both monster fly at 60 so no need of the ready action. Damage per round is 4 for each hawk, and 18 for the hippogriff if both attacks hits. Tower with is not giving but height is 20 feet. I think I have used 20 feet as the width.

You can run this nice. 2 dive bombers attack one pc and fly away provoking attack of opportunity. Telling new people they can swing on the retreating bird. Or mean. 2 dive bombers, move, attack, move and make the players decide if they going to split their AOOs or not. But the script reads like the hawks and griff are there to cover Proskler’s retreat. So I would only do two rounds of combat by then the villain is out most thrown weapons. Also Telvin did not mention death saves. If I would had zeroed any one out, I would have shift targets. If I zeroed out all the pcs, the guards down below escape and stabilize the group. And laugh at the pcs.

Telvin chalk this up to a new dm learning.


We had 4 guards in the first wave. The second wave was 8 blood hawks and 2 hippogriffs. You know, had there only been one hippogriff (as Jasper suggests there should have been) I think we would have won. I was the last man...err...halfling (rogue) standing. I killed the last bloodhawk and still had almost full hit points. If there had been only one hippogriff, it would have been dead, as there was only the one left at the end.

There were a lot of death saves being made. I do not recall anyone failing three before the end and the DM calling the scenario done. He did that right after my character dropped to the last hippogriff.

Jasper, I think you are right, a new DM learning. They only put this group together because all the other tables were full and there were us 5 people that showed up as first timers. He was like the stand by GM in case the needed one.

I appreciate all the people posting and helping out. I do feel a lot better about the session now. Also, I may be new to 5e, but I have been playing D&D since 1979. Left for Pathfinder because of 4e. Coming back to D&D because I miss it. I particularly miss the feeling of 1e. I was told 5e might be the answer.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I don't have an issue with pack animals acting as a unit, but I generally give each participant in a battle its own initiative. This is simple because I use software--HeroLab specifically. This mixes things up more. And better captures the chaos of battle. When running combats with just pencil and paper I have often grouped like monsters together to speed up combat with large numbers of participants, but that always feels unsatisfactory.

It can also be unfair. I play with very experienced players and it can be hard to challenge them. I like to challenge them with tactics instead of just bumping up hit points or attack modifiers. One tactic I use is that if one monster knocks a player down to zero, the next in line will attack him again. It makes sense with clever, tactical, and cruel antagonists like hobgoblins and they are much more scary when played like this. The problem, however, is that if they all have the same initiative, you can frequently have a scenario where a character is taken to zero and quickly loses all his death saves as the other hobgoblins finish him off. Giving each their own initiative gives other players more possibilities to stabilize, heal, or defend the downed player and makes for a more a more interesting battle.

Will less experienced or less tactical players, however, I would likely dial down the tactics quite a bit.
 

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